The Lebanese Federation works with Marcet in an ambitious program to promote football.

Their participation in the Academies’ World Cup 2018 has set a before and after for the Lebanese squad. As a result of this sporting event, the Lebanese Football Federation has started putting together tryouts and training sessions throughout the country with the aim of building a team that could compete with Europe’s best. Having reached second place goes to show how effective the program has been.

“We arrived in Barcelona with Sub-12 and Sub-11 teams,” explains Bassem Mohamad, technical director of the Lebanon Football Association (LFA). “It was the first time that we competed with squads made up of such young children, usually the national teams are put together after the age of 15.”

Una de las selecciones libanesas que participó en la Academies' World Cup of Football 2018.
One of the Lebanese teams which participated in the Academies’ World Cup of Football 2018

The idea of empowering Lebanese grassroots football through this initiative emerged in recent months. The leaders of the LFA met several times with Marcet in order to raise the bar in terms of their footballing potential. “We had to know how capable we were with regard to the other competing countries. The World Cup has opened our eyes as to understanding where we really stand, what we are doing well and what we have to improve on,” says Mohamad.

“Every year, four players and four trainers will go to barcelona to learn under marcet’s methodology”

The Lebanese football scene approached the initiative with enthusiasm. “When we announced that we were looking to build two teams to play an international tournament in Barcelona, the requests wouldn’t stop coming in. Suddenly, we had a lot of families asking how and where they could have a go at the tryouts which is good not only from a sporting point of view, but also for our country as a whole, since Lebanon has been suffering a serious social conflict for years. Thanks to the World Cup, we got to see how a lot of people stopped talking about what was separating them and started coming together to talk about football.”

But, the institutional collaboration between the LFA and Marcet goes beyond this initiative. Starting in September, four Lebanese players will be trained each year in our High-Performance Academy within the Erasmus + project framework (), designed to boost the practice of football in countries where it’s still developing.

Un jugador libanés lanza un penalti durante la final de la World Cup.
A Lebanese player shoots a penalty during World Cup final.

“Four Lebanese trainers will also travel to Barcelona for 15 days,” explains Mohamad. “What we’re looking for here is getting to grips with Marcet’s method, have a go at the academy’s programs, learn their concepts and then develop them in our country.” A scholarship program that has already has success with players and coaches from countries such as Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Pakistan, North Korea, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

“It’s a long-term program,” says the technical director of the LFA. But we’re already seeing improvements, since the Lebanese Federation intends to also put together an U-10 team in the coming months. “Not only that, the big news is that in September we will launch a national league for kids under-12, under-10 and under-8.” An absolute novelty for a country that loves the sport and that, at the hands of Marcet, is beginning to open a gap for them in the international football scene.

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